Flame Gunner is a 1999 3D open-world Run-and-Gun arcade game developed and published by Tecmo and GAPS Inc., being their only title for the arcade itself.
When a terrorists syndicate took over a number of facilities in the big city, you'll need to defeat them as three Special Forces Operatives across a series of levels spanning from offices, warehouses, docks, and finally a chemical plant. And no, there really isn't much plot behind this one other than "shooting terrorists, just because".
Gameplay-wise. Flame Gunner plays out somewhat like Taito's own Dead Connection (another open-world Shoot 'Em Up where you need to put a bullet into literally every living thing not on your side) but set in the present and in 3D.
Unrelated to Steel Gunner.
Three Operatives are selectable for players:
- Kai, The Hero who uses Guns Akimbo.
- Talia, the sole female playable character who an automatic rifle,
- Falcon, The Big Guy and Scary Black Man who uses a shotgun.
This game contain examples of:
- Back-to-Back Badasses: On two-player mode. Playing with an experienced friend reduces difficulty by half, since mooks will appear by the dozens and you'll often get out-flanked when you're in the middle of an area.
- Bottomless Magazines: None of the player characters need to find spare ammunition for their firearms, or reload their weapons at any given point.
- Car Fu: The first boss is an armored truck who, besides firing at you with it's turret, also repeatedly tries driving all over the place to ram you over.
- Crosshair Aware: The terrorist leader and Final Boss will sometimes drop a cluster bomb attack on your characters, when you're in an enclosed square while your enemy is on a separate platform elsewhere. The game will throw indicators on the floor, seconds before the projectile lands - move away to avoid getting hit.
- Darkened Building Shootout: The first boss is fought in a pitch-black theater with minimal lighting. However the game does have indicators to point out where he is.
- Disney Villain Death: The Final Boss, unlike his minions, actually gets his own special cutscene after his defeat, where he then keels over and fall off the platform he's on, down a deep shaft.
- Dual Boss: Two terrorist Dark Action Girl henchwomen are a boss couple who attacks you at the same time in the power plant's entrance. They're armed with different weapons (one has a machine-gun, another a flamethrower) and spends the fight jumping and sumersaulting all over the place while shooting at you. No word if they're related or not though.
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: Some of the terrorist mooks, as well as one of the two henchwoman enemies, uses flamethrowers as their weapons.
- Friendly Fireproof: Despite the insane amount of bullets firing onscreen in every corner, your shots won't hurt your partner (and vice versa).
- Never Trust a Title: Despite what the title promise, you don't get to use flamethrowers at any point of the game. The only flamethrowers are mooks and one-half of the Dual Boss.
- Gas Mask Mooks: Terrorists armed with flamethrowers are all clad in gasmasks.
- Mad Bomber: The first boss is a terrorist bomb expert which you fought in a dark theater; said boss attacks by dropping Time Bombs that you need to deactivate by shooting or suffer damage when it explodes, besides pumping him with lead.
- No Name Given: None are provided for the opposing side. There's the terrorist mad bomber, the two henchwomen, their leader, all which goes around unnamed. Not that they need any...
- No Ontological Inertia: The final battle ends with the terrorist leader getting killed, at which point all the sentry turrets in the arena suddenly deactivates, despite being on autopilot.
- Railing Kill: Tends to happen to mooks on tall balconies. The second stage notably takes place in a warehouse where you're standing directly below several balconies containing mooks, and you'll need to side-step so they don't fall on you. (Yes, they can damage your health in this way) One promotional flyer even features said stage itself◊.
- Sentry Gun: The platform where you face the terrorist leader Final Boss is surrounded by at least eight automated turrets, which fires on you at full auto as soon as the battle starts. Much of the final battle's difficulty comes from avoiding the turrets, the boss' cluster bombs, and trying to return fire - and no, destroying those guns wouldn't work, shooting them enough disables them for a handful of seconds before they reactivates.
- Stationary Boss: The Final Boss, the unnamed terrorist cell mastermind is pretty much stuck in a single platform at the corner of the stage, taking potshots at you while calling his turrets to back him up.
- Timed Mission: Around a minute per stage, and if there are enemies around when the timer hits zero you'll need to restart the level (for the PS1 at least).
- Two Guys and a Girl: Kai and Falcon are the guys, Talia is the girl.
- Zerg Rush: The number of onscreen enemies tend to number up to dozens in later levels, with you facing a nearly endless stream of mooks.